Twins still waiting for ByungHo Park to find his swing

Published 7:53 am Monday, May 22, 2017

By Mike Berardino

Pioneer Press

ByungHo Park had gone just 6 for 37 (.162) at Triple-A Rochester since missing a month with a strained hamstring, but the Twins continue to hold out hope the South Korean slugger will turn things around.

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“Unfortunately, he’s had to deal with an injury here at the start of the season, which is never fun for a player who’s trying to get himself back,” Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. “We just want to make sure we get him healthy and make sure we get him in position to show his best self. If we do that the chips will fall where they will. I’m confident that we’re supporting him to be the player he wants to be.”

Park, 30, hit a combined 22 homers last season between Triple-A and the majors before undergoing season-ending surgery on his right hand in August. Signed through 2019 with a club option for 2020, the first baseman had a strong spring after clearing waivers and being outrighted off the 40-man roster in early February, but the Twins chose to open the year with an eight-man bullpen while sending Park down to the minors.

“It was bitter news for me,” Park recently told through a translator. “Not surprising, but more like disappointing.”

Four games into the Red Wings’ season, Park landed on the DL. He has homered just once against 14 strikeouts in 53 at-bats this season.

“He’s a guy who’s very determined to be successful at the major league level,” Falvey said. “I have no question about that. His work ethic is exceptional. He cares very deeply about putting himself in the position to be successful. He’s a proud player.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.